Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Mon May 13 2019 10:26:41

Would You Embrace Virtual Currency on eBay?

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay and virtual currency - what could possibly go wrong, cynics might ask after reading today's reports about the company's messaging at the Consensus cryptocurrency conference in New York.

CCN has an overview* of what the fuss is about after reports surfaced this morning, including images of eBay signs that read:

- Virtual Currency. It's happening on eBay.
- Reach 179 million active buyers in the world's largest marketplace.
- Digital Collectibles. It's happening on eBay.

eBay used to ban the sale of all digital goods, but it eased up on that restriction in recent years. In August, we reported eBay was actively working on digital goods after executive Manish Belsare touted his work on an initiative to launch digital goods and subscriptions on eBay.

eBay has a category called Virtual & Crypto Collectibles under Collectibles & Art > Collectibles. It's full of a lot of physical items both related and unrelated to virtual currencies. For example, a seller lists "Crypto Novelty Souvenir Coins" for under $10 and makes it clear "they are only for collectors and for novelty purposes." (The seller also warns shoppers: "Other Sellers are listing these individually for hundreds of dollars, pretending they are the ACTUAL virtual currency or of some crazy monetary value; but they are only for collectors and for novelty purposes.")

The category also contains listings for digital goods such as a digital card that "can only be transferred to you if you have the Topps Walking dead app."

Many think eBay missed the boat on digital goods. But virtual currencies on eBay would be more surprising - there are still a lot of reports about crypto-related fraud in the news. Perhaps we'll learn more about eBay's plans coming out of this week's conference (see second update below). Its move to take over payment processing from PayPal would theoretically give it more freedom to experiment with such "currencies." 

How do you think Digital Collectibles and Virtual Currency on eBay would work? Would such a move provide an opportunity for sellers, or do you see greater risk to sellers?

*Updated to fix typo (from CNN to CCN)

Update 5/13/19: eBay provided EcommerceBytes with the following statement: "Cryptocurrency is not accepted as a form of payment on the eBay platform, nor is it part of our payments strategy. Our payment options can be found here."

The ad appears to be a reference to the fact that eBay has physical items for sale that are related to virtual currency. Do a search for "crypto mining equipment" and you'll find some high-priced items in categories such as: Coins & Paper Money > Virtual Currency > Miners.

Crypto Mining Rig for $3,950, anyone? How about an Ethereum miner for $149,000?

Sadly for conference attendees, virtual currency not accepted.



Comments (20) | Leave Comment | Permalink

Readers Comments

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This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Mon May 13 10:39:08 2019

I don't accept Bitcoin, Ripple or Ethereum

But when the US Government goes digital we'll all have no choice in the matter!

Cash will be gone by 2030









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This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Mon May 13 11:57:18 2019

Virtual Currency on eBay? No thanks! Your virtual fortune would be one glitch away from being wiped out. And I'm sure their TOS would be amended to read that any issues were not the fault of eBay.

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by: RL15 This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 13 11:57:20 2019

"there are still a lot of reports about crypto-related fraud in the news"

fleecebay will love this, they encourage fraud.

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by: sasikat9 This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 13 12:43:48 2019

@jackheartsparrow

SO FUNNY

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by: mcposty This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 13 13:49:21 2019

I think Ebay is not intelligent enough to do virtual items. They simply can't run a business well to handle the intricacies of this genre. Look for fast refunds for any buyer saying they have any problem whatsoever..such as installing virtual items, downloading them or "returning" them

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by: thievesBay This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 13 14:23:17 2019

To me this is just eBay trying every gimmick they can to patch the holes in the sinking ship. Just the same as how they keep coming up with new schemes seemingly on a daily basis to trick, confuse, and steal from sellers. The dunderheads in the ivory tower are grasping at straws looking for revenue because the fact is there is no growth. Does anyone really believe eBay could pull this off? More than likely it'll be another disaster. The daily operation of the site doesn't even work properly with constant site errors, glitches, checkout errors. And they think they can add crypto?

Also sick and tired of eBay always touting their active buyers numbers which is a sham. Seemingly anyone that ever bought something on eBay in their history is included in their stats and never removed. Bought something 15 years ago once, you're in! Bought something once and returned/cancelled your order, you're still in! This is how eBay plays with all their numbers.    

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This user has validated their user name. by: NoMoreEbay

Mon May 13 15:18:34 2019

This is definitely in the top 10 of all time ludicrous ideas ebay has ever copied. Crypto on ebay, are you freakin kidding me?? Even for savvy people it's complicated. The average buyer can't even understand a simple listing description much less wallets, crypto keys, block chains, 2 part auth, etc.

However, fpr ebay's broad criminal customer base. This would be the holy grail for them. Escalating an already out-of-control fraud network into an entirely new model, costing sellers and buyers alike millions. Heck, they would have to make an entirely new YouTube series on how to get things free with fake crypto hash numbers.

And then there's the forced refunds that seems to be at the core of ebay's business. Unless ebay has every seller's crypto account gate key (API key,) there is no way they could force a seller to refund. Even worse, no transaction in or out could be proved. And giving ebay that information is akin to handing the keys to your house to the local burglar.

No way this will ever happen, particularly on such a dirty site as ebay.

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by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 13 15:25:19 2019

thievesBay is %100 correct.

eBay knows as much about cryptocurrency as DW knows about nuclear physics.

eBay cant get regular business working properly (https://seekingalpha.com/article/4256438-ebay-biggest-lemon-tech-sect
or)
"eBay: The Biggest Lemon In The Tech Sector" - so would you try letting them handle VIRTUAL items?

Now eBay finds for the buyer %98 of the time - are we looking for %100?

To prove thievesbay's statements - the financial companies say:

"GMV slipped to negative y/y decline in Q1 for the first time in several quarters, while active buyers remained flat.

eBay remains a no-growth company that will continue to face immense pressure from more popular e-commerce giants.

What's holding eBay stock afloat?

I find investors' enthusiasm on this decaying name quite confusing. eBay and its management team have a gift of making their no-growth situation appear attractive to investors, even as all of eBay's core metrics appear to be in decline."

So yeh ... trust the idiots in San Jose with YOUR virtual money that they can lie, cheat and steal to get at ... then claim how YOUR losses are part of business ... just not theirs.

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by: comments This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 13 16:19:16 2019

I seriously advise ebay to get some outside input on the matter. If credit card companies perceive ebay to be a cryptocurrency converter or seller then creditcard companies may start declining to authorize ebay transactions.

As it is I have had many ebay transactions get declined by citibank because some sellers are flagged as cryptocurrency dealers, even though they were not selling any that I could see. This could also be an error on citibank's end but every time an ebay transaction declines I contact them and ask why. They always tell me that I am "not allowed to purchase cryptocurrency" and I never have or would buy any.

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by: Michael in BC This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 13 16:50:06 2019

No ............. a thousand times "NO".  Go for it if you look forward to waking up to find there's nothing in your mythical "pie-in-the-sky" account.   Folks (if they haven't already) should read about that virtual currency account with gazillions in it, that had the sole account holder pass away, leaving no "key" or any other means of accessing the funds supposedly in the account.  "Gee, we're real sorry but we can't seem to find any record of your mythical funds..........but if you just drop your selling prices, we're sure  you'll make it up in no time !"

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by: FLEbaySeller This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 13 18:23:16 2019

NO!!!!!!

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This user has validated their user name. by: Ina

Mon May 13 21:42:13 2019

Mystery solved, see updates above.

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by: Snapped This user has validated their user name.

Tue May 14 07:26:31 2019

So the question is moot - for now.  

But eBay still has enough to do to get it's virtual coupons to work, right?  Virtual currency?  Frightening.

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This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Tue May 14 11:01:25 2019

Poll time!

Does anyone here actually own any crypto cash?

If so what kind, how did you get it and are you happy with it?

I myself crypto cash isn't for me. . . . .

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by: Slowest Learner This user has validated their user name.

Tue May 14 16:08:18 2019

Search CNBC for the following article:
'Mr. Wonderful' Kevin O'Leary calls bitcoin 'garbage' in a takedown of the whole cryptocurrency industry

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by: Grady This user has validated their user name.

Tue May 14 18:57:40 2019

Their room full of H1B's can't keep photos from disappearing. Imagine their stellar skills working with "crypto currency". try this: Just see about getting the actual site working first, then if you geniuses can do that, maybe follow it up with something fancy.

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This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Tue May 14 23:07:37 2019

Off Topic:

YOUTUBE

I've been big on Youtube since 2008, made a few videos about tools I had to sell and a few firearm video's

I see other eBay sellers making extra cash by making Youtube video's

So today I start a new adventure with my eBay ID & Youtube channel.

I'll be showing my tips on packing, shipping and placing listings.

How to avoid getting bad buyers and how to deal with them once you have one.

Let's see if my 20+ years on eBay can earn me some extra money.

My Youtube channel is z50, I have a whole 45 subscribers ~ LOL

We all start somewhere. . .

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by: Whatever This user has validated their user name.

Wed May 15 10:06:02 2019

Crypto? Hummm - at this stage of the game - with sales the way they are I was thinking about bartering for a chicken - wanna trade?

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This user has validated their user name. by: Bidonmine

Fri May 17 20:56:58 2019

NO

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This user has validated their user name. by: FidoMaster
Web Site

Wed Jun 19 08:33:20 2019

eBay would have been much better off issuing a lesser declarative than shutting down crypto so strongly as NOT being part of eBay payments strategy.

I wonder why eBay issued such a strong statement at the end of that sentence, when it's part of their strategy now, and certainly was a few weeks ago when they pushed that out to ECB, Bloomberg news, and dozens of other media sites.

Was it further evidence of eBay's poor inter-departmental miscommunication, incompetence, or intentional deception?

On the eBay Inc corporate blog that I believe Ina has linked in the new article, Alyssa Cutright now says, "...it’s central to the strategy for me and my team as we build out eBay’s own managed payments offering."

...Mere weeks ago it was "Cryptocurrency is not accepted as a form of payment on the eBay platform, nor is it part of our payments strategy."

That's a BIG shift in a SHORT amount of time.

My theory? I think these banners seen at the Consensus cypto gathering were exactly what everyone interpreted them to be - teasers for eBay's crypto announcement.

Perhaps Libra's consortium agreement prohibited any partners from releasing any pre-announcement (or "teasers"), and I think there's a good chance eBay had to take a hard 180 and issue a statement refuting crypto plans on eBay, thus leaving everyone to come up with a *different* interpretation of what eBay meant with it's banners that said, "Virtual Currency. It's happening on eBay."

I mean really, knowing what we know now, with 20/20 hindsight doesn't it seem a bit silly to infer that statement as just eBay eluding to crypto-related hardware that could be bought on eBay?

#Misexecution



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